Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset
From Alan Weiss
Volume 3 Number 9
Welcome to the third year of Million Dollar Consulting Mindset. Our mission is to spark new thinking and ideas for creating a thriving business and rewarding life. Hence, I'm changing the format slightly, striving to create quick ideas, easy to read and absorb. As always, I'm happy to answer questions if you send them to me and specify they're for MDCM.
The Relationship Process
I've spoken and written at length about the power of trusting relationships prior to conceptual agreement and proposals. If you submit a proposal, with options, based on strong conceptual agreement and mutual trust, you should close over 80 percent of them.
Let me be more specific about the relationship process in terms of its components:
The last thing you want to do is try to provide credibility under pressure, during a meeting. Your published intellectual property, audios, teleconferences, books, videos, client list, position papers, blog, web site, and so forth should provide the background credibility. Your demeanor and language at the meeting with the buyer will then carry this forward.
Credibility is the confidence in others that you possess the skills and talents to provide value.
Rapport is gained through conversation, in terms of both its content and process. The buyer should speak most of the time in response to your qualitative questions and provocative suggestions. This means you should be comfortable as a peer of the buyer, evaluating the client for suitability just as the buyer is evaluating you.
Rapport is the comfort in communications and presence that peers develop to provide candor and value to each other.
The goal, of course, is to convert the relationship that has thus far evolved into a business relationship. With that in mind, you must steer the conversation to a likely project and the conceptual agreement required for a proposal. The buyer should expect the next step is a proposal and your follow-up call.
Conversion creates business for you, created by the proposal which is the transfer mechanism from the earlier steps and agreements to a formal business relationship.
You need to be expert at all three steps in order to consistently acquire business.
Thought from Alan:
People who are derivative and take things from other sources are totally transparent because they can't answer questions well. I've seen many speakers who, when asked an unanticipated question, lose track of where they are in their memorized, unoriginal material! There is no "there" there.
Empowering Teams (William Byham, et. al., Jossey-Bass, 1991)
© Alan Weiss 2013. All rights reserved.
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